KAB18 Master Studio kicks off on the 21st of May with Ethiopian photographer and contemporary artist Aïda Muluneh.
Aïda mentions that most of her own mentors have been African-American photographers that have guided her over the years when she first started in photojournalism such as Harlee Little, Chester Higgins and Dudley M. Brooks (renderforest.com). She adds that: “Entering into the current realm of my work Simon Njami has been the one who has pushed me to take my photography into a different path. Yet, regardless of whether I do photojournalism or studio photography, my motivation comes from an understanding that as Africans we must be engaged in addressing and showing our side of a story in order to confront the lack of a balanced perspective that stems from the foreign gaze.”
Born in Ethiopia in 1974, Aïda Muluneh left the country at a young age and spent an itinerant childhood. After several years in a boarding school in Cyprus, she finally settled in Canada in 1985. In 2000, she graduated with a degree in Communications with a major in Film from Howard University in Washington D.C. After graduation, she worked as a photojournalist at the Washington Post, however her work can be found in several publications. She is the founder and director of the first international photography festival, the Addis Foto Fest. She has published a book titled, “Ethiopia: Past/Forward,” which is a coffee table book that reflects her vision on reconnecting to Ethiopia through memory and nostalgia. Her latest works play with this notion of memories, by reinventing contemporary rituals through the characters that she depicts.
Now a mentor to the younger generation herself, Aïda will open her studio and share her skills and knowledge with 5 young talented artists. They will engage into dialogues, produce new work together and learn from each other during a 10 day intensive studio period in Kampala.
Aïda Muluneh – Studio 21st May – 31st May 2018 at Design Hub Kampala
Aïda selected the following five Apprentices to participate in her Studio:
Noor Okulo – Uganda
Noor is a Ugandan born in 1992. He is a 25 year old graduate from Artfield Institute of Design under the Visual Communication departement. He has had lead responsibilities at varying stages of the design process from conceptual development to final product and worked on both Commercial and Humanitarian Projects.
“My appreciation for an interdisciplinary approach to design, is one that can be most vividly explained by my journey as a young designer. Influenced by several mentors from an early age, I firmly pursued and attained my education as a Graphic designer, I have skills in software engineering and also a self taught photographer.
Like many have observed however, today’s complex world presents issues that are best addressed by minds that think dynamically and independently across multiple facets of life- in other words, multi-disciplinary. It is these real world situations coupled with my own design energy that have led me to develop my abilities.
Aside from design, I am a passionate explorer of photography and sports such as marathon cycling. I also love digital painting and story telling. I love surrealism when it comes to photography. I love merging my photos taken with mostly fabric, patterns, shapes, creating collages to tell a story. Most of my works are personal, They relate to me that’s why I am always the model. I believe photography is an adventure, there is a lot you can do and learn.
I believe more exposure from artists of the same culture would help me tell better stories.”
Jake Singer – South Africa
Jake Singer was born in 1991 in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he lives and works. In 2013, Singer completed his undergraduate degree at Michaelis School of Fine Art with a major in sculpture. In 2012 he also studied at Central Saint Martins and assisted William Kentridge with The Refusal of Time. He is a co-founder of Alma Martha.
Singer is a multidisciplinary artist working predominantly with sculpture and photography. Through the interplay between these media, Singer reflects on chaos and catharsis. These surreal realities are informed by science fiction, utopia and myth. Singer has held two solo shows at Hazard Gallery, 2016/17 and a solo show at Punt WG, Amsterdam, 2017. In 2017 he also participated in duo shows at 50 Golbourne, London and Matter Gallery, Toronto. Other significant shows include Cape Town Art Fair 2017; Another Antipodes, Perth 2017; Also Known As Africa Paris 2017/16; FNB Joburg Art Fair 2016; Suba Biennale, Dak’art OFF 2016; Art Basel Book Fair, Alma Martha 2016; Art Lima 2015.
His work is featured in several private collections and has permanent sculptures at the Nirox Sculpture Park. Most recently, he received a sculpture commission for the top of the W+A Building, which is now view-able on the Johannesburg skyline.
Julius Ssekidde – Uganda
Ssekidde Julius is a documentary photographer who lives and works in Uganda.
Born in 1993 and raised in Kampala, his love for photography started 7 years ago. He only started putting it into practice 5 years later, having picked interest from a photographer in his community, Oscar Kibuuka, who is also a documentary photographer.
Recently he took part in a competition held by Uganda Press Photo Award in conjunction with @weartphoto_ and @therural_ and emerged the winner. He will participate in The Rural workshop in Barcelona in the 2019 edition to exhibit his work. This will be his first exhibition.
Miora Rajaonary – Madagascar / South Africa
Miora Rajaonary is a documentary photographer born and raised in Madagascar currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
After working for 6 years in Communications departments of corporations and non-profit organizations in Europe, Middle East and Africa, Miora enrolled in a 6-month photography learning programme, and subsequently decided to dedicate all her time and energy to pursue a career in photography at the age of 29 in 2013.
Through her work, she now focuses on social issues and identities in contemporary Africa. Her multimedia project on interracial relationships in South Africa, “I See You With My Heart” was one of the five recipients of the “Projets Reseaux” initiative of the Alliance Française of Johannesburg in 2016 and toured as a solo exhibition, in five cities of South Africa during the second half of the same year. It was also exhibited at Stanford University, California, USA in May 2017.
In October 2016, Miora was selected for the World Press Photo Masterclass East Africa 2016, the second in the World Press Photo Foundation’s s series of satellites masterclasses, and the first one in Africa.
She has since been commissioned by the Wall Street Journal, BBC, Roads and Kingdoms, Woz Die Wochenzeitung, Causette magazine, and featured by the New Yorker, the Everyday Projects on Instagram among others.
She was named one of the “10 emerging photographers of colour to watch” in January 2018 by I-D magazine. She was recently selected to participate in the 2018 edition of the New York Portfolio Review.
She holds a Master degree in Culture and Media Management from the Paris Institute of Political Studies.
Rumanzi Canon – Uganda
Canon avidly photographs, draws, paints, writes, and records video. He consistently publishes and shares these via social networks as UrbanUnkindness. As he say about himself: “ I hold art in the highest undeniable regard as the most unbridled way of sharing the experience and aspiration of our being. I am motivated by the mysteriousness of our presence, all the possibilities!”
Canon collaborated with Andrea Stultiens on a platform they founded in 2011; History
In Progress Uganda (www.HIPUganda.org). He trained in graphic design, and advertising at APTECH Uganda, (2010 – 2012). Canon is informally and self-taught in digital photography, videography and video. Canon also participated in the Kampala Art Biennale of 2016 and recently had a solo show titled “Posers” at Afriart Gallery.